Information Technology Industry Council Reaches Common Ground on Net Neutrality

The "network neutrality" debate is becoming more nuanced, with possibly greater understanding by many participants that it is important to find common ground that does not jeopartdize the Internet's future in a misguided attempt to preserve its past.

The Information Technology Industry Council, which includes Microsoft, Ebay, Intel, Apple, Qualcom, Adobe and Cisco, seems to be threading a needle, for example.

Everybody seems to agree that "certainty" is needed or innovation will be impeded. Everybody also seems to agree that innovation "at the edge of the network" likewise should not be impeded.

One way of getting there is by avoiding the temptation to write overly-detailed rules in advance of issues that could arise. That means the ITIC prefers that issues be settled on a case-by-case basis, as needed, rather than by creating new rules in advance of any conceivable set of issues that could arise.

"The FCC cannot posibly anticipate all future circumstances, and it is entirely possible that conduct that may appear to be harmful today will in fact be beneficial to consumers in light of future circumstances," the ITIC now says.

Managed services, for example, should be allowed unless it is proven that the services are "anticompetitive or harmful to consumers." That suggests a new openness to the possibility of enhanced services that take advantage of user-defined and user-requested packet prioritization features.

Quality of experience, especially during periods of congestion, almost requires that such mechanisms be available for users and applications that want to make use of such features.
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